Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Boz North's Trail - Index and Links

Follow links to my most recent walks

Walks in the UK.              Co Durham                        East Riding of Yorkshire                Lake District
London                               North Pennines                Northumberland                            North Yorkshire
Peak District                      Scotland                             Tyne and Wear                                Wales

International Walks          Nijmegen Netherlands 2019     Malta 2018     USA 2017     Poland 2017
     Malta 2017     Nijmegen Netherlands 2017     Madeira 2016     Slovinia Kranjska Gora 2015     Kitzbuhel Austria 2014     Nijmegan Netherlands 2014     Kitzbuhel Austria 2013     Nijmegan Netherlands 2013     Kitzbuhel Austria 2012     Drakensberg South Africa 2012    Austria 2009

Long Distance Walks      Weardale Way (Part) 2017          Offa’s Dyke Path (Part) 2015
The Moray Way 2014     The Hadrian Wall Path 2013       West Highland Way 2012
The Pennine Way 2011  Cape Wrath Trail 2010                  West Highland Way 2009


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Nijmegen 4 Day Marches - Netherlands Day 4 19 July 2019

Nijmegen 4 Day Marches - Day 4
Netherlands
Distance 48km Climb 40m
Friday 19 July 2019

If you read previous years 2013, 2014 and 2017 you will see that each year I have wrote, this will be my last opportunity to take part in such an amazing event. Yet I am here again to have another final opportunity to take part in this the 103rd Nijmegen Marches.

Another early start today, earlier than the previous 2 days. I was lined up ready to go. The weather forecast for today was for sun. 
I marched from the camp to the band and salutes, a long time before the sun came up and it was still very warm. Down the forest road Beukenlaan.  My friend Josh passed me again for the second time this week. It was good to see him.

On reaching the road passing under the Heumensoord sign I again crossed straight over the road onto Driehuizerweg, passed the small hospital, which was quiet, no-one was up this early. This would be my last walk up this road.

Directed left onto Kwekerijweg passed the sports fields and beach volleyball courts. I did try to take some early morning photos but they did not come out very clear. My route was the same as on Day 2 and Day 3, from Kwekurijweg straight across to Houtlaan. This was where I joined other marchers from the other routes. At the moment there were only a few about but I was soon joined by the mass crowd.

Turning left and right, south and west through the streets I had marched the previous two days. I saw the regular supporters and today there seamed to be more supporters already gathering. There appeared to be a quite expectant hush over most of the marchers, which did not last long.



I was following my previous route and stopped for a short rest at my usual place. Then like Day 2 I crossed the Maas-Waalkanaal.  



I took the bridge over the A73/E31, today instead of turning right through the petting farm I continued along the road, south. 

Over the last three days walking, I had passed through lots of the Nijmegen areas. Areas of ordinary houses, thatched houses, flats and some areas of very expensive looking houses. Some house owners even allowed marchers to use their toilets. Factory areas, farm houses, fields and woods, rivers, canals and lakes. All added to the fantastic experience, everywhere I went people greeted us marchers.


I was passing through parkland an area of small lakes just as the sun was starting to rise. 

Normally I would stop at this cafe for a short break, but today due to the time I carried on. 


I was in an area called Valenberg and had a short stop. Leaving the rest area after a few hundred meters our routes split. The other marchers continued south on Kasteelsestraat towards Overasselt, I turned right, west onto a narrow lane called Spellingsestraat.




The lane twisted and turns gently westerly towards Nederasselt, through fields of corn. It is along here I passed the house with the golden pig as its weather sign.


In Nederasselt I had a short rest. 



At the top of the street I followed the sign left, taking me along a narrow lane. At the top of the lane I turned right, west, and rejoined the other route marchers. Continuing west the road dropped down to run beside the Maas, leading me towards the bridge at Grave.


The road took me under the bridge before turning back up the bank onto the bridge. Crossing the bridge over the Maas a plaque shows it is the John S Thompsonbrug, which was taken in part of Operation Market Garden. A number of pill boxes can still be seen in the area.

Looking below I saw a fisherman, I hope the crowds didn't put the fish off.



On the western side of the bridge there is a memorial to the soldiers who had died in and around the bridge during WWII. 

The route took me back under the bridge and along the southern bank of the Maas I was now heading south east into Grave.



There were thousands of people in Grave lining the narrow cobbled streets. Leaving Grave on the Jan Van Cuykdijk.


After approx. 2km the road moves south east away from the Maas. 


I was approaching Gassel where I had a short rest.



After my break I continued south east.


I was now heading east towards Cuijk. Cujijk was large, loud and amazing. After twisting and turning through the town, I turned left, north, returning to the riverside of the Maas.


Then a sharp right, east, took me straight onto a pontoon bridge across the Maas. The pontoon bridge is built especially for this event. Over the pontoon bridge I followed the road for a few hundred meters before turning left into a rest area. It was getting very busy and the crowds both marching and watching were amazing.

It was turning warmer when I left the rest area I was now heading north on Cuijksesteeg.  This took me over the bridge I had used on Day 3 in crossing the Mookerplas into Mook I was continuing north.  Some of this route was now taking me back along part of the Day 3 March passing Molenhoek.


I was now on the Rijksweg which took me straight into Nijmegen. The crowds were getting louder and bigger. It looked like everyone in the Netherlands was out here today.



I arrived at Charlemagne Field in time to be lined up and marched the last 5km into Nijmegen with a band playing, and leading us in.






The crowds were so deep, there was people on the roofs and balconies, hanging out of windows it was amazing. The noise was deafening and the smell was beer.



Then it was passed the dignitaries and around to the finish.


Today the distance I had covered was 48km with 40m climb, which made a total of 175km over the four days.  What an amazing experience.

I say this every time but I think this may be my last. I am not sure if I will get the opportunity to do this again but it is something I hope I will never forget. People come from all over the World to take part. I have said it before but it is true that the whole four days are a celebration to life, not just for the marchers but also the hundreds of thousand of people who supported the marchers.

Well done Nijmegen.
More to follow



Boz North
Follow link to previous Day - Day 3Thursday 18 July 2019 



Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Nijmegen 4 Day Marches - Netherlands Day 3 18 July 2019

Nijmegen 4 Day Marches - Day 3
Netherlands
Distance 44km Climb 260m
Thursday 18 July 2019

If you read previous years 2013, 2014 and 2017 you will see that each year I have wrote this will be my last opportunity to take part in such an amazing event. Yet I am here again to have another final opportunity to take part in this the 103rd Nijmegen Marches.

Today was the hills day.

Another early start and I was lined up ready to go, a pale looking sun not yet awake hung low in the sky, or was it the moon? The weather forecast for today was another overcast day, even so early it was still very warm. 


I marched from the camp to the band and salutes, down the forest road Beukenlaan.  On reaching the road passing under the Heumensoord sign I again crossed straight over the road onto Driehuizerweg, passed the small hospital, which was quiet. No-one was sitting out waving at me this early.

Directed left onto Kwekerijweg passed the sports fields and beach volleyball courts. 


My route was the same as Day 2 from Kwekurijweg straight across to Houtlaan, where I joined other marchers from the other routes.  


Already people were out waving flags, playing music, cheering as I marched past.  Following the road west, I was caught up with people marching the other routes, it would probably be more appropriate to say the people caught up with me. Soon I was part of what was becoming mass crowds.


Turning left and right, south and west through the streets I had walked yesterday I was starting to notice the regular supporters.



I had a short break just before the turning were the route changed from yesterdays march.


A right turn southwards, a weak watery sun was still rising but it was warm.


I was in an area called Hatert where I moved left, south west, from yesterday's route. Today instead of crossing the Maas-Waalkanaal our march was along its eastern bank. Once I had left the houses behind I was beside open fields, and you could see all the marchers ahead. Masses and masses of people.

On reaching the Maas-Waalkanaal I followed along the eastern bank for a number of kms. In an area called Malden.


After a short while I was on the Oosterkanaaldijk. I could see large barges and small boats moving up and down the canal.  


Continuing by the Maas-Waalkanaal, round the western edge of Molenhoek.


My route moved slightly away from the Maas-Waalkanaal, east for a short distance then turned south.


Passing under a railway bridge, after a few hundred meters I was at the rest stop in the field down to the right. This was where the Maas-Waalkanaal joined the River Maas for a short while.

After my rest I set off again heading south east, passing this memorial. One of many memorials on the march.


Walking up the bank to the road into Mook. As always the bands playing, bunting, people cheering, flag waving and children handing out sweets, biscuits, pieces of fruit and water. High fiving and fist pumping. It is just the sound of it all so indescribable.


On reaching St Anthony's Church the route goes around the church.



Then heads south east down Kirkstraat.


Through Mook and I crossed a bridge over the canal into an area between the Maas and the canal and continued south east. Following the canal with the Maas moving further away to my right.

In the distance to my right, west I could see the towers of the church at Cuijk. I would be walking passed this church tomorrow.


A little north of Middleaar I turned northwards onto the Witteweg. Which took me over a bridge with the south eastern end of the canal to my left and a lake called Mookerplas on my right. 

After a few hundred meters there is a camping area on the right where I stopped for a short rest.


Passed the lake I turned right, east, through Plasmolen.


Continuing east towards Milsbeek, it is usually along here I see a British Bobby but not this year. 






Passing through Milsbeek I turned north on the Zwarteweg. Again due to different marching routes, the 50km red marchers turned south west. 

A little up the road and their route rejoined ours again, after they had marched an extra few km. 


A turn north west then north east brought me onto the Bredeweg, which runs almost north for the next few km.




There he was again the Roman.


Travelling north west now. After a short while I turned left, south west, leaving my fellow marchers on different routes to continue straight ahead towards their finish. My route took me down through some woods. 


Coming out the other side I zig zagging south and west through some houses onto the eastern side of Kwekerijweg. It did not take me long to reach the junction with Driehuizerweg, a turn left, south and I was on my familiar route back to the campsite. Passed the small hospital where the guests had been brought out to share in the festival. This would be my last walk down Driehuizerweg.


The traffic was stopped to allow me to cross onto the forest road Beukenlaan. Then it was only a few hundred meters to the finish.

The distance I had covered today was 44km with 260m climb.  As tradition states it was into the beer tent to celebrate then time for dinner a shower and some admin. As always I gave my feet a good rub for luck, before going to sleep and rest for tomorrow. Another excellent day.
More to follow


Boz North
Follow link to previous Day - Day 2 Wednesday 17 July 2019
Follow link to next Day - Day 4 Friday 19 July 2019